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Stab victim ‘a millimetre away from death’

A man stabbed 13 times in an attempted robbery was just one millimetre away from paralysis or death, he revealed yesterday.

Borislav Angelov, who was attacked as he came home from work as a bartender, said one of his stab wounds just missed penetrating his spine.

He added: “I was so lucky. One of the stabs hit me exactly on the spine.

“If it went deeper, just a millimetre more, I would be paralysed for life. And I already told my wife I don't want to live paralysed.”

Mr Angelov was attacked in the early hours as he rode his bike along Harbour Road, Paget.

Two men on a bike chased him and attacked him on his patio.

Mr Angelov said his helmet and backpack probably saved him from even worse injuries.

He said: “There were a few more cuts in the knapsack. And there were probably more in the helmet.

“He got me the first time hard and after that he didn't have a chance to go deep again.”

Mr Angelov, originally from Bulgaria, added that the attack ended only when his wife, Deborah, who was recovering from a broken leg, heard the noise and turned on the patio lights.

He said: “If she didn't flick on the lights, I would be dead.”

Mr Angelov was rushed to hospital after the attack, in the early hours of October 23 last year and doctors battled to save him.

He said: “When I got into the hospital, I wasn't sure what was going to happen.

“I don't think anybody thought I would survive at the time.

“I have to thank the doctor — he put me back together. If it was not for him, I would not be speaking today.”

However, Mr Angelov said the emotional and psychological scars left on him and his wife by the attack may never heal.

He used to be able to tell visitors with confidence that Bermuda was the safest island in the Atlantic.

But Mr Angelov said: “How can I say this today?

“A lot of people say it is very unlikely to happen to you, but how can I say it is not going to happen to someone else?

“I can't say the same thing to the tourists. I can't say this is the most safe place. I can't.”

He was speaking less than a week after Alex Wolffe, 20, was sentenced to ten years in jail after he was convicted of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Wolffe, from Southampton, was also sentenced to five years for attempted robbery and 12 months each on two charges of intimidation, but the sentences will run concurrently.

Police continued the hunt for Wolffe's accomplice after the trial.

Mrs Angelov said the attack still terrified her. She added: “Never in your life do you think you would see something like this. And with a broken leg so you can't ... I don't know what I would have done if I didn't have a broken leg.

“If I opened the doors, would they have stabbed me? Would they have shot me?”

Mrs Angelov said: “Many people say many things. They say what they would have done, but they don't know what they would have done.

“How many people would stand through 13 stabs? Most people would collapse after one or two, but he just kept going.”

She added: “They didn't expect him to fight back as hard as they did, but he did. Most people would just surrender.”

The couple praised the police and paramedics for their fast response.

Mr Angelov spent ten days in hospital after the attack and the court heard he still suffered side-effects, including “constant pain” on one side of his body and no feeling on the other side.

He also suffers flashbacks and memories of blood running down his back and legs.

Mr Angelov flew to Bulgaria after he was released from hospital because he wanted to tell his family about the attack in person.

He said: “My mother, she didn't know anything until I went back to Bulgaria. It has been very emotional. Nobody expects this. They didn't expect me to be home.

“It's very hard to explain to your mother you almost died, you know?

“I can see how it has changed the way she acts. Every time I call she thinks something happened. She expects me to tell her something bad.”

But Mr Angelov said: “I hope I will be the last victim of these type of crimes. That's what I hope. Lets hope Bermuda has a better future.

“I'm not angry, I'm not upset. I'm very happy I'm here still today and can enjoy Bermuda with the time I have.”

However, the couple no longer feel safe in their home.

Mrs Angelov said: “We are in the process of moving. I can't be there any more. He can't be there. Too many bad memories.

“I look outside and I can hear the scraping of chairs. I know it sounds really crazy and stupid, but every time I hear something move, I jump.

“And with the trial and everything you worry if they are coming back.”

Mrs Angelov warned the public that they needed to be careful, particularly late at night.

She said: “I hope this is a lesson to the community, that people take heed and don't think casually about what can happen.

“We can't do the things we used to do. The days are gone where we left our windows open all night and our doors unlocked.”

Mrs Angelov added: “I feel bad for the children and families of those who are doing this to others. It must be devastating and mortifying.”

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Published June 11, 2019 at 9:00 am (Updated June 11, 2019 at 7:49 am)

Stab victim ‘a millimetre away from death’

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